Palette and painting knives are sometimes distinguished from each other by either being straight or having an off-set handle. But most people use the terms interchangeably. I usually call both types “palette knives”.
Palette knives are useful in a myriad of ways.
-You can apply paint to your surface in a heavy impasto way. Or by using the edge you can apply paint in a fine line.
-You can mix paint on your palette.
-You can scoop paint or medium from a tin or pot.
-You can remove excess paint from your painting by scraping it off.
-You can draw in the wet paint with a palette knife.
-You can use it to scrape your palette clean.
-I find them very well suited for cleaning each other. I scrape the paint off of one with the other, under running water. This works even better with acrylics if they have sat in a water pot for a bit, the paint peels off easily. (This works best with the forged steel knives as the chromed ones can have the chrome peel off if scraped with metal.)
What else do you use your palette knives for?